NEW YORK (NYTIMES) - Severe thunderstorms rolled through southern Michigan and north-west Ohio on Monday (Aug 29), leaving hundreds of thousands of customers without power in the region and killing three people, including an 11-year-old boy who was swept into a drain as the storm system stretched into Arkansas, authorities said.
A line of storms, which had dissipated by Monday night, produced wind gusts from 95kmh to 130kmh in parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, prompting severe thunderstorm warnings throughout the day, said meteorologist Bob Oravec with the National Weather Service.
The impact of the storm system extended south into Arkansas, where heavy rainfall and flash flooding swept through the northern part of the state, said Joe Sellers, a meteorologist with the weather service.
"The storms that we encountered were more detached from the main body of storms farther north," Mr Sellers said. "It was not a solid line but it was part of the same system, in that the energy associated with it extended this far south."
In Bentonville, Arkansas, the boy was playing near a pond where water gathers during heavy rain when he fell into the water and was swept into a drain, police said. A woman who tried to save him was rescued and treated in a hospital, police said.
In Toledo, Ohio, a woman was killed by a tree that fell during the storm, Mr Sterling Rahe, a spokesman for the Toledo Fire & Rescue Department, said in a statement.
The woman, who was not identified by authorities, was found dead in the backyard of her home, where the tree had fallen, Mr Rahe said.
A 14-year-old girl, who was also not identified by authorities, had been walking with a friend in the backyard of her home in Monroe, Michigan, about 96km south-west of Detroit, when she thought she smelled a bonfire and reached for a stick, unaware that it was a charged electrical line, the Monroe Public Safety Department said in a statement. She was found dead by rescue workers.
Power was being restored through some areas early Tuesday, after the storm knocked out electricity to more than 600,000 customers in Michigan and Indiana late Monday.
On Tuesday, there were about 360,000 customers without power in Michigan, according to PowerOutage.us, which aggregates data from utilities across the United States.
The storms moved through Detroit, which might explain why so many people lost power, Mr Oravec said. In Indiana, about 4,000 customers were without power Tuesday afternoon, according to the website.